New scheme launched to help with the cost of university life 

Young people in Tower Hamlets can apply for help with the cost of university now a groundbreaking new council scheme has opened.

Applications for bursaries through the Mayor’s Higher Education Award are now being accepted at

Under the bold initiative, 400 students will each receive payments totalling £1,500.

Tower Hamlets is the first council in the country to launch a higher education grant programme of this scale.

The Mayor of Tower Hamlets, Lutfur Rahman, said: “I am proud to be launching a scheme which will help change the lives of young people.

“University provides young people with the best start to their careers and is a fantastic experience, so I am keen to help as many local youngsters into higher education as possible so they can realise their full potential.”

The awards scheme is being launched to help:

  • make higher education a more realistic prospect for young people from poorer families in the borough
  • reduce the number of local students who drop out of university before completing their courses
  • encourage more school and college leavers from Tower Hamlets to attend university

At present, only one other council distributes education grants, benefitting a handful of students each year – so Tower Hamlets’ 400 grants is an unprecedented move by a local authority, and will support around half of the number of young people in the borough who go to university.

Cabinet member for children, schools and families Councillor Oliur Rahman said: “We are the first authority in the country to be backing our teenagers in such an innovative way.

“Tuition fees have meant the cost of university is simply too daunting for many students in Tower Hamlets. With this new scheme we are hoping to change that.”

The Mayor’s Higher Education Award is being launched as a result of the success of the Mayor’s Education Award – a scheme, now in its third year, in which school leavers are given grants to help them stay in education.

To be eligible for funding through the Mayor’s Higher Education Award, students must be under 24, be permanent residents of Tower Hamlets and be starting higher education courses in the 2013/14 academic year.

Full details can be found at The application form is now live at this address. Applications close on October 11.

Contact details for the Mayor's Higher Education Award

The scheme is being administered by the council’s benefits team. 

You can contact the team on 020 7364 5001 or

July 1, 2013